River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Media Musings by Cyril Marsters

July 2014

LN (Lynn News), May 2: I could eat a horse, but how about you? A Lynn businesswoman is considering offering horsemeat on her menu when she opens a new cafe in town this month...Horse-rider and farmer Princess Anne believes putting a value on unwanted horses [by eating them] could help solve the welfare problem, which saw around 8,000 horses abandoned in the UK last year.

Comment: This seems a sensible solution. Horsemeat is normal food in some countries, e.g. France and Italy, so why should a horse, apart from sentimentality, be considered a different case?  (I speak as one who has worked with horses and has always been very fond of them).

BBC****1 6pm News, May 8:  It was reported that Barclays Bank intended to shed 19,000 jobs. In response to a question as to whether this would result in branch closures, their spokesman said that “More and more of our services will be delivered by technology.”

Comment:  Replacement of people by technology seems to be an ongoing trend. The majority of farm workers were replaced by mechanisation and chemical sprays, and many other workers reduced in number by automaton and other technologies. People, as employees, are regarded by hard-headed businesses simply as ‘labour costs’, to be ruthlessly eliminated wherever possible.  This cannot go on indefinitely! With thousands of young people needing work, the country needs a completely new approach to economics which will provide a reasonable living for all its citizens.

EDP (Eastern Daily Press), May 10:  Rising CO2 cuts nutrients in food. Wheat, rice, soya beans and field peas all suffered significant losses of zinc and iron in experiments which exposed them to higher concentrations of the greenhouse gas. In addition, notable declines in protein content were seen in wheat and rice.

Comment:  If this is a likely effect of global warming, together with things like sea-level rise and tsunamis, it is indeed bad news.  I have read a number of reports over the years, stating that intensive farming methods since 1940 have reduced the mineral content of our food. If this has already happened, then we certainly do not need any further reductions in food nutrients!

EDP****, May 17:   Plea over dredging in the fens...drainage board representatives met MPs, Environment Agency managers and a government top flood defence official at Downham Market...the meeting heard drainage boards fear that siltation in the tidal Ouse, which has occurred since Denver Sluice was damaged by last December’s tidal surge, has left thousands of acres at risk of flooding...they were seeking assurances that Denver Sluice would continue to be maintained and that the E.A. would have a programme of de-silting, dredging and weed cutting to ensure the river system was fit for purpose.

Comment:  Let us hope that the people involved get on with the job without delay and so avoid a similar situation like the one that occurred in Somerset. After all – if you’ll forgive the pun – we’ve had our fill of fen floods in the past!

EDP****, May 24: Line is on track for half-hourly service. Trains will run half-hourly between King’s Lynn and London and new, air conditioned carriages will be phased in...with more seats and better connections and improved stations. Thameslink Govia franchise will take over on September 14.

Comment:  For local people who commute daily to London this must come as good news. But what surprised me by the EDP feature was that there was no mention of the proposed upgrading of the track through Ely North Junction, which had earlier been stated as necessary for the running of the more frequent service. The lines through this junction – which holds particular interest for me, having been ‘box-boy’ there during 1942/43 - had all been dual track up until the Lynn-Ely line was electrified, but were then short-sightedly ‘singled’.  Now it is necessary to spend millions to reinstate the dual track!

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